Defend NZ from assisted suicide.
Vote NO to the EOLC Act.
At this October’s election, you will be asked if you want the End of Life Choice Act (EOLC Act) 2019 to come into force.
This Act is not about turning off life support, do-not-resuscitate requests, or allowing someone to refuse medical treatments (These are already legal in NZ).
The EOLC Act is about giving doctors and nurse practitioners the legal power to assist in patient suicides, or to end the lives of their patients with lethal injection/dose upon request.
HERE ARE 8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE NO IN THE BINDING REFERENDUM AND KEEP NEW ZEALAND SAFE FROM THIS FATALLY FLAWED ACT:
#1. There is NO reliable safeguard to prevent someone being pressured into euthanasia or assisted suicide (one doctor is simply required to ‘do their best’ to detect pressure, and they can only speak to people that the patient lets them speak to)
The EOLC Act will be ineffective at protecting people from being pressured into requesting assisted suicide. The Act only requires medical professionals to “do their best” to detect whether someone requesting assisted suicide or euthanasia is doing so of their own free will. There’s no requirement that family and caregivers be interviewed, that the doctor be well-versed in detecting coercion, or even that the doctor know the patient longer than the appointment to obtain the lethal drugs.
#2. NO independent witness is required at any point in the process – even at the time the lethal dose is injected/taken
The EOLC Act won’t keep people from dying against their will. The Act doesn’t require medical professionals to check whether a person is mentally competent on the day lethal drugs are taken or injected. It also doesn’t require independent witnesses to be present to confirm that dying is the person’s own choice. Overseas evidence shows that some people have been forced into proceeding with a euthanasia death they no longer wanted – the EOLC Act will do nothing to prevent this from happening in NZ.
#3. There is NO protection against secret euthanasia or assisted suicide (family do not have to be consulted, or even informed)
The EOLC Act will enable people to die without informing their families. The Act enables those as young as 18 to request assisted suicide or euthanasia and to have lethal drugs prescribed or administered all without consulting with or informing their families. The first some families may know of their loved one’s intention to die will be when the medical office calls to tell them that their loved one is dead.
#4. There is NO requirement to ensure that the person is mentally competent on the day the lethal dose is injected/taken
The EOLC Act won’t keep people from dying against their will. The Act doesn’t require medical professionals to check whether a person is mentally competent on the day lethal drugs are taken or injected, or to have independent witnesses present to confirm that dying is the person’s own choice.
#5. There is NO protection for terminally ill people who are also depressed or mentally ill
The EOLC Act requires no mental health screening for terminally ill people who request an assisted suicide or euthanasia death. Overseas, around 90% of people who request assisted suicide say they are doing so because they feel like their lives are no longer enjoyable – fewer than 30% say that they want to die because they are in physical pain or suffering, or are worried about being in pain in the future.
#6. There is NO required cooling-off period before the lethal dose is prescribed
The EOLC Act does not require any mandatory cooling-off period before the prescription of the lethal dose. The state of Victoria in Australia has a minimum nine-day period, while Canada has a minimum of 10 days. The only time frame mentioned in the End of Life Choice Act is a minimum of 48 hours between the writing of the prescription and a person’s chosen time of death. This means that a person could request euthanasia and be dead just a few days later, and without ever having taken time to properly consider their death, and the impact this will have on their family or wider community.
#7. There is NO protection against medical errors about the course of an illness or how long a person has left to live
The EOLC Act won’t protect against medical error. The Act doesn’t require the assessing doctor to have specialist knowledge of a person’s medical condition. Even with specialist knowledge, doctors freely admit that they get things like diagnosis and prognosis wrong. Nothing in the Act will prevent someone whose doctor is wrong about the course of their medical condition or about how long they have left to live from accessing assisted suicide or euthanasia.
#8. More than 200 lawyers and over 1600 doctors have publicly denounced this Act as bad law
The EOLC Act has been publicly denounced as bad law by more than 200 New Zealand lawyers and over 1600 doctors. The Act lacks many of the safeguards that nearly all similar overseas’ legislation have. This is why New Zealand legal and medical experts, some of whom support euthanasia, have come out vocally against this particular Act. They say it is fatally flawed and will be highly dangerous to many vulnerable people should it come into force.
#DefendNZ – Vote NO to the EOLC Act 2019